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A new Ontario law is being used to suppress claims against the province

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Lawyers say the law – which allows the province to retroactively fight cases already green-lit by judges – makes it difficult or impossible to sue over the negligent conduct of public officials. And they say it’s the first law of its kind in Canada in 50 to 70 years.

The province is battling eight class actions that accuse the government of mistreating vulnerable people, including Adam Capay, who spent 1,647 days jailed in solitary confinement.

Ontario says the purpose is to bar lawsuits over government policy or spending decisions. But lawyers say it goes much further, and even introduces hurdles to suing the government over corruption or wrongdoing.

Using legislation to fight already approved claims is “pretty revolutionary for a democracy,” said Toronto lawyer Kirk Baert, a partner at Koskie Minsky. His firm is behind all eight of the class actions.

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Calls are growing for Ottawa to sanction Chinese and Hong Kong officials

The pro-democracy group Canadian Friends of Hong Kong is set to send a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today calling on the government to put sanctions on officials implicated in police brutality against protesters. That follows massive demonstrations yesterday where hundreds of thousands took to Hong Kong’s streets.

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(Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

DANISH SIDDIQUI/Reuters

A pair of Conservative senators are also set to table a motion this week urging Ottawa to impose sanctions “relating to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong and of the systematic persecution of minority Muslims in China.” The letter to Trudeau also demands a response over the internment camps where Muslims including Uyghurs are being detained.

China’s ambassador to Canada has warned that any effort at sanctions would prompt “very firm countermeasures” from Beijing.

On Monday, a Chinese official said detainees in China’s forced political indoctrination and skills training centres had “graduated.” The announcement, which was met with skepticism by critics, comes as the U.S. raises pressure on China for its treatment of Muslims amid renewed efforts to complete a trade deal between the world’s pre-eminent economic powers.

The federal government is skeptical LNG exports will fit into its climate plan

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said his government has to be “very careful” about the industry argument that liquified natural gas exports could be used for credit in Canada’s own emissions targets.

Countries including China rely heavily on coal for electricity generation. LNG producers have argued that by helping those places shift away from coal through the shipment of natural gas, Ottawa should then be able to count those GHG reductions in its own climate plan.

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Hydro One’s plan to tackle climate change: Ontario’s electricity utility plans to install 100 highway charging stations for electric vehicles by the end of next year. Hydro One also says it will switch half its fleet of SUVs and sedans to electric vehicles or hybrids by 2025.

In this weekend column, freelance writer Naomi Buck called out Canadians for driving SUVs, which not only have an outsized environmental impact but also pose a danger to pedestrians and smaller vehicles.

A rare Emily Carr painting was cleared to leave Canada despite an export-permit error

The multimillion-dollar Skedans painting, which sold to an international collector in New York last month, was cleared for export on a form that the government now says contained an error on a key question.

A painting like the 1912 work by Carr would require a permit because of its age and financial worth, placing it on a “control list” while determining if its loss would damage Canadian culture.

But while the government acknowledged the form contained an “administrative error,” it said the “appropriate process was followed to issue the permit.”

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

At least five dead, others missing in eruption of New Zealand volcano: Police said they do not believe there are any more survivors, with rescue services unable to reach White Island as it remained too dangerous after the eruption of the volcano there spewed a plume of ash thousands of feet into the air.

Russia handed four-year Olympic ban over manipulation of doping data: Russia’s hosting of world championships in Olympic sports also face being stripped after the World Anti-Doping Agency executive committee approved a full slate of recommended sanctions as punishment for state authorities tampering with a Moscow laboratory database. However, WADA was not able to fully expel Russia from the Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

Nearly 8 in 10 Canadians say they’re middle class: A Nanos poll found that 78 per cent of Canadians consider themselves middle class, even if there was widespread disagreement on what is considered the cutoff for a “middle-class” household income.

Bernier readies for legal action against Kinsella: Maxime Bernier has hired Ontario’s former ombudsman to prepare a defamation case against political consultant Warren Kinsella for calling the People’s Party of Canada Leader a racist and a bigot.

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UK election days away: Boris Johnson is vowing a “transformative” Brexit that would lead to lower immigration as opinion polls indicate the Tory lead over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is narrowing ahead of Thursday’s vote.

MORNING MARKETS

World stocks stutter as attention turns to trade deadline, central bank meetings: European stocks fell on Monday as worries about a Chinese economic slowdown and the U.S.-China trade war outweighed Friday’s strong U.S. jobs data, in a quiet start to trading before several big events later in the week. In Europe, Germany’s DAX was down slightly by about 5:15 a.m. ET, with London’s FTSE 100 and the Paris CAC 40 down by between 0.1 and 0.2 per cent. Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.3 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng inched down marginally and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.1 per cent. New York futures were down. The Canadian dollar was just below 75.5 US cents.

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WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

The environmental repercussions of our excessive streaming habits

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Jane Kearns: “Streaming is becoming downright ubiquitous. But because our devices are just the receiving tools, we rarely think about the energy that goes into powering it all. And we’re almost completely blind to the emissions, smog, thermal pollution and other side effects arising from that energy use.” Jane Kearns is vice-president of growth services at MaRS Discovery District.

Trump’s impeachment and re-election strategies are now intertwined

David Shribman: “it is increasingly clear both the Giuliani initiative and the President’s refusal to participate in this week’s House proceedings are part of the principal theme of the Trump presidency in the final year of its four-year term.”

TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

(David Parkins/The Globe and Mail)

David Parkins/The Globe and Mail

LIVING BETTER

The six nutrients you really need – but may be missing – if you’re over 65

Protein, fibre, Vitamin B12, calcium, Vitamin D and Omega-3s all play an important role in your health, Leslie Beck writes.

Protein helps preserve muscle mass and strength, and adults older than 65 should consume 1.2 grams of protein for every kilogram they weigh.

Getting 30 grams of fibre a day guards against Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer.

Go here to read more about the health benefits of the different nutrients.

MOMENT IN TIME

For more than 100 years, photographers have preserved an extraordinary collection of 20th-century news photography for The Globe and Mail. Every Monday, The Globe features one of these images. This month, we’re looking at the thrill of comedy.

Pat Carroll in Toronto, 1968

Allan Moffatt/The Globe and Mail

This photo by Allan Moffatt appeared in The Globe on Dec. 3, 1968, its caption contained just three words: “Pat Carroll: laugher.” The American actress and singer was in Toronto promoting her first film role, in the Doris Day rom-com With Six You Get Egg Roll. And while Ms. Carroll was indeed known for her raucous howl, the entertainer reminded her interviewer that she had gotten her start as an accordion player. “I was very serious about it, but turned to comedy for a simple reason: Whenever I played, people laughed.” Surely audiences did not mean to polka fun at her, but hey, in show business, a laugh’s a laugh. – Brad Wheeler

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